Visas + Immigration

Getting a passport in Thailand

Learn how to apply for a passport in Thailand, the costs involved, and what to do if it is lost or stolen.

Thai passport lying on a map at an airport

By Naomi Nunn

Updated 26-3-2024

One of the benefits of being a Thai citizen is getting a Thai passport. While it might not rank as one of the world’s best passports in terms of the number of destinations its holders can access without obtaining a visa before arrival, it still grants visa-free access to approximately 80 countries.

To help you understand how to obtain a Thai passport and what the process and costs involved, this article covers the following:

Passports in Thailand

The Thai passport (หนังสือเดินทางไทย, nang seu dern tang Thai) was one of the first biometric e-passports in the world, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA – กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ, Grasuang Gaan Dtaang Pratet). It is a distinctive passport with the emblem of Thailand, the Garuda (ครุฑ, Krut) the vehicle of the Hindu god Vishnu, on a dark red cover.

The passport contains 64 pages and a biodata page which includes the following information about the holder:

  • Photograph
  • Passport number
  • Name in English
  • Name in Thai
  • Nationality
  • Thai ID card (บัตรประจำตัวประชาชนไทย, bat bprajam dtua bprachachon Thai) number
  • Place and date of birth
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Date of issue and expiry
  • Issuing authority (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Signature
  • Machine-readable information
People standing in line for the passport check at Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. Everyone is wearing face masks.
Immigration officers at Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues several types of passport, including:

  • Ordinary 5-year (ธรรมดา 5 ปี, tammadaa 5 bpee)
  • Ordinary 10-year (ธรรมดา 10 ปี, tammadaa 10 bpee), for people aged 20 and up
  • Emergency passport (หนังสือเดินทางฉุกเฉิน, nang seu dern tang chuk chuen),valid for one year
  • Emergency travel document (เอกสารการเดินทางฉุกเฉิน, eggasaan gaan dern tang chuk cheun),valid for 30 days and only allows one entry into Thailand
  • Official passport (หนังสือเดินทางราชการ, nang seu dern tang rachagaan), for monks, civil servants, government workers, etc.
  • Diplomatic passports (หนังสือเดินทางทูต, nang seu dern tang toot)

All Thai passports are now biometric e-passports. In 2020, they were also upgraded to be some of the most secure passports in the world.

What are the benefits of getting a Thai passport?

There are several reasons why you might consider getting a Thai passport. For example, if you intend to stay in Thailand long-term, it makes entering and leaving the country much easier. Additionally, as an ASEAN (PDF) member, Thai passport holders can visit other countries in the economic region visa-free for at least 14 days.

These passports rank in 64th place in the Henley & Partners passport rankings, with a score of 80.

Who can get a passport in Thailand?

Only Thai citizens can apply for a Thai passport. You can submit your application when you become a Thai citizen.

There are several pathways to citizenship, either through permanent residence or marriage to a Thai citizen. You can get permanent residence after living and working in Thailand for at least three years. Alternatively, there are options through investment and being a company director.

Applying for a passport in Thailand

Applying for a passport in Thailand is relatively quick and simple.

First, you need to make an appointment at your local passport office. Conveniently, you’ll find them all over the country. You can also use the straightforward online system for making an appointment – you will need your Thai ID card.

Then, on the day of your appointment, you should arrive at the passport office at least 30 minutes early. Documents you should bring to your appointment include:

  • Thai ID card or house book (ทาเบียน บ้าน, tabien baan) if you don’t have an ID card
  • Any previous Thai passport you have held
Someone passing a Thai passport to someone else. Both persons are out of frame.
Photo: naruecha jenthaisong/Getty Images

If you are applying for a passport for a minor (under 20) both parents should go to the appointment. However, if one parent can’t go, they must provide a notarized parental consent form. Minors between the ages of 15 and 20 can go to the passport office by themselves but need a letter of consent from their parents or legal guardians.

At your appointment, the passport office will take your photo and biometric information, including your height and fingerprints. After that, you will need to sign your application information, as your signature will be included on your passport.

Receiving your new passport

Once you have completed the application process, you’ll pay for your passport and either collect it from the passport office or have it posted to you by secure EMS post.

If you have your passport posted to you in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, you will receive it in two to three business days. However, if you live outside of this area, it will take three to five business days.

Fast track service

Thailand has a same-day fast-track service (บริการช่องทางด่วน, borigaan chong tang dtuan) for those who need a new passport urgently. However, to take advantage of this service, you will need to collect your passport in person from the Department of Consular Affairs in Bangkok (กรุงเทพมหานคร, Krungtep Maha Nakorn).

Department of Consular Affairs in Bangkok, Thailand. Glass building with triangular front and Thai flags.
Photo: Kittipong Chararoj/Getty Images

To collect your passport you’ll need your ID card and your passport application receipt. You can also nominate another person to collect it. As well as showing the passport receipt, which states they have permission to collect the passport, they will need their ID card and a signed copy of your ID card to authorize the collection.

Applying for a Thai passport abroad

If you are abroad and need a new passport, you can apply for one at the Thai Embassy in your country. The steps to get a new passport from overseas are as follows:

  • First, make an appointment either using the online queue system (ระบบคิวออนไลน์, rabob queue online) or the embassy website
  • Then, on the day of the appointment, bring your Thai ID card, house book (ทาเบียนบ้าน, tabien baan), and previous passports to the embassy.
  • Pay for your passport in the local currency.
  • Wait for 4–6 weeks to receive your new passport.

As it takes a long time to receive an ordinary Thai passport overseas, you can apply for an emergency passport or travel document if you need to travel urgently. They both take around three days to receive, although the emergency travel document is slightly faster. They serve slightly different purposes:

  • An emergency passport (หนังสือเดินทางฉุกเฉิน, nang seu dern tang chuk chuen) is valid for one year and is suitable for people who need to travel urgently but don’t have a flight booked to Thailand. It costs around US$8.
  • An emergency travel document (เอกสารการเดินทางฉุกเฉิน, eggasaan gaan dern tang chuk cheun) is valid for 30 days, is free, and only allows a single entry into Thailand. It’s suitable for people who urgently need to return to Thailand.

Dual nationality and second passports in Thailand

Dual nationality (สองสัญชาติ, sorng san chaat) is allowed in Thailand, so you can have a Thai passport and a second passport. While some online information contradicts this, the law has changed in recent years, allowing you to keep your original passport when you get Thai citizenship. However, you should check to see if your other country of citizenship allows dual nationality.

Renewing or replacing a passport in Thailand

Thai passports can’t have their validity extended, and you can’t add extra pages. So, when your passport is filling up or soon to expire, you should apply for a new one. This is also the case if your passport has been damaged and can’t be used for travel anymore.

People going through passport control
Photo: Matt Hunt/SOPA Images/Light Rocket via Getty Images

The process is the same as applying for a new passport, except you should bring your old passport to the appointment.

Lost or stolen passports in Thailand

If you have lost your passport or it has been stolen, you should immediately report it to the police, whether you’re in Thailand or overseas. This report is essential when applying for a new passport.

Once you have the police report, take this and your ID card to your nearest passport office or Thai Embassy. You can cancel the old passport and begin applying for a new one there.

If you need to travel urgently and you’re in Thailand, you can apply for a same-day fast-track passport. Alternatively, those overseas can apply for an emergency passport or emergency travel document.

Cost of passports in Thailand

When you apply for a Thai passport, you can expect to pay the following (website in Thai):

  • Ordinary 5-year passport – ฿1,000
  • Ordinary 10-year passport – ฿1,500
  • Ordinary 5-year passport same-day service – ฿3,000
  • Ordinary 10-year passport same-day service – ฿3,500
  • Passport delivery fee if you are unable to collect in person – ฿40

Useful resources